The number of U.S. foreclosures dropped for the fourth month in a row in August, according to a monthly foreclosure report released today by real estate data aggregator CoreLogic.

As of the end of August, 1.3 million homes — 3.2 percent of all U.S. homes with a mortgage — were in some stage of the foreclosure process, a 7.1 percent drop from August 2011.

Not all homes that enter the foreclosure process are lost by their owners. Some are able to get current on their loans or negotiate a short sale.

The 57,000 foreclosures completed in August brings the number of homes that have gone all the way through the foreclosure process since September 2008 to 3.8 million, the report noted.

"The continuing downward trend in foreclosures and a gradual clearing of the shadow inventory are important signals that the recovery in housing is gaining traction," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

The report shows that nearly half (48.1 percent) of the 377,000 foreclosures completed in the last 12 months occurred in just five states: California (110,000), Florida (92,000), Michigan (62,000), Texas (58,000) and Georgia (55,000).

States with most foreclosures in the last 12 months, August 2012

State Number of foreclosures
California 110,000
Florida 92,000
Michigan 62,000
Texas 58,000
Georgia 55,000

Source: CoreLogic

Florida leads all U.S. states with 11 percent of its mortgaged homes in some stage of foreclosure, according to the report. The next states on the list, in order, are: New Jersey (6.5 percent), New York (5.2 percent), Illinois (4.8 percent) and Nevada (4.6 percent).

States with highest percentage of mortgaged home in some stage of foreclosure, August 2012

State Percentage of mortgaged homes in foreclosure
Florida 11.0%
New Jersey 6.5%
New York 5.2%
Illinois 4.8%
Nevada 4.6%

Source: CoreLogic

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